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California AC Speedway pre-event notes

AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY 2008 AMA SUZUKI SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND PREVIEW SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CA -- Action on the track returns this weekend to the Auto Club Speedway for the 2008 AMA Suzuki Superbike Championship. This third of 11...

AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY 2008 AMA SUZUKI SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND PREVIEW

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CA -- Action on the track returns this weekend to the Auto Club Speedway for the 2008 AMA Suzuki Superbike Championship. This third of 11 stops on the national circuit will feature a Superbike-class doubleheader; combatants in the nation's premier road race series will compete on Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th. Racing takes place on the speedway's 2.36-mile motorcycle competition road course. The track features a 21-turn layout that utilizes part of the speedway's 2-mile oval from turn 4 to midway between turns 1 and 2. Saturday will feature races in the Superbike and Formula Xtreme classes while Sunday's action will see the second leg of the Superbike doubleheader as well as racing in the Superstock and Supersport classes.

What to look for this weekend:

Southern California Area Suzuki Dealers AMA Superbike Championship Presented by Parts Unlimited (28 laps, 100k)

Suzuki has dominated the competition as Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammates Mathew Mladin (6) and Ben Spies (4) have combined to win the last 10 Superbike races at Auto Club Speedway. The last non-Suzuki rider to appear at the top of the victory podium in Fontana was a Honda's Nicky Hayden in 2002. He followed Anthony Gobert who won the previous day for Yamaha.

AMA Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship Presented by Shoei Helmets (17 laps, 60k)

A winning combination of youth and experience came together to produce a remarkable 1-2 finish in the Supersport season opener. Graves Motorsports Yamaha rider Ben Bostrom, the 1998 AMA Superbike champ, kicked off his first full-time Supersport title push in a decade by losing 14 pounds in the off-season and promptly taking the checkers at Daytona. The former World Superbike ace narrowly defeated his teenaged teammate, Josh Herrin, edging the up-and-coming 17-year-old by a scant 0.012 seconds at the checkered flag. At round two, the kid and the champ went at it for all 17 laps, with the teenager passing Bostrom in the final corner and holding him off for the win.

Herrin, who is less than one month shy of his 18th birthday (May 23), will be looking for the first consecutive wins of his young career.

AMA Formula Xtreme Series (17 laps, 60k)

Erion Honda's Jake Zemke won a dramatic clash with teammate Josh Hayes last week. The Honda-mounted duo traded several heart-stopping passes before Hayes' day was ruined with a high-speed crash just past the halfway mark of the 17-lap race. Zemke then cruised home to his 13th career victory in the class, while Hayes, the defending class champion, picked up his bike and clawed his way to a gritty seventh-place finish.

AMA Superstock Presented by Dynojet (17 laps, 60k)

Michael Jordan Motorsports Suzuki's Aaron Yates is the man to beat in this class. His perfect season so far includes a win at Daytona and complete mastery of the 2.3-mile, 15-turn Barber Motorsports Park circuit, where he claimed his second consecutive AMA Superstock race victory of the young season over Honda-mounted Jake Holden and Roadracingworld.com Suzuki's Chris Ulrich, from nearby Lake Elsinore, California.

Past Auto Club Speedway Superstock winners Ben Spies (2004 & 2007) and Jason DiSalvo (2005 & 2006) are riding the Superbike class exclusively this year. Tommy Hayden, who won in 2002 and 2003, has also moved classes. This year, he can be seen competing in Superbike and Supersport.

Tickets, including an AMA/NASCAR package, are still available for the weekend and can be purchased by calling 800-944-RACE or by visiting www.racetickets.com.

The Auto Club Speedway of Southern California is owned by International Speedway Corporation, a leading promoter of motorsports activities in the United States, currently promoting more than 100 events annually. For more information, visit the company's website at www.iscmotorsports.com.

-credit: acs

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Series AMA
Drivers Anthony Gobert , Mathew Mladin , Nicky Hayden , Tommy Hayden , Aaron Yates , Jake Zemke , Ben Spies , Chris Ulrich , Jake Holden , Josh Herrin , Ben Bostrom